12/31/08 3:32 PM EST
Closers market drying up for Brewers
With Fuentes gone, Milwaukee has few free-agent options remaining
By Adam McCalvy / MLB.com
With Fuentes off the market, the top three free-agent closers have all signed. First, Rodriguez went to the Mets, and then former Cub Kerry Wood, a player who could have been a fit for Milwaukee had he remained on the market a bit longer, went to the Indians for a two-year deal.That leaves veteran righty Trevor Hoffman, baseball's all-time saves leader, as the only one of what Melvin called "A-type" closers available. Hoffman is also represented by Thurman, and while the Brewers are interested in at least exploring whether a deal can be struck, it is unclear whether the feeling is mutual. "They haven't given us that indication," Melvin said. If the Brewers strike out in their search for a closer, the top internal candidates appear to be Seth McClung, Carlos Villanueva or recently signed Jorge Julio. But McClung might be needed in the starting rotation, Villanueva has never filled that role and Julio hasn't been a closer since 2006 in Arizona. He was Baltimore's closer from 2002-2004.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.